What is it about?

The topic of this article is a definite shift in socialist pedagogy: implementing polytechnic education in the late 1950s. First, the Soviet model will be presented, then the analysis of its Hungarian introduction will show the decision-making process thoroughly, from the first steps in February 1958 to the publication of the Principles in September 1960, which affected subsequent discourse about the so-called ‘school-reform’. The study is based upon the reports of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party (HSWP) archives, mainly the files of the Political Committee, because this body designed and determined the characteristics of the new era in Hungarian education, with the actors and arguments, pro- and contra.

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Why is it important?

Silence dominated the afterlife of the reform after 1965 – in retrospect, it was a failure –, and the situation has not changed since. Although the archives are now open, the actors within decision-making and their different interests have not yet been investigated by scholars.


The socialist education has not critically reflected yet in Hungary, which is a missing link and pre-history to the contemporary situation.

Lajos Somogyvári
University of Pannonia

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This page is a summary of: Political decision-making in socialist education: a Hungarian case study (1958–1960), History of Education, April 2019, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/0046760x.2019.1590651.
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